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From my experience in building websites, it's common practice for developers and designers to build websites with a fixed container width of 1170px. I believe this is because the standard screen size for users is 1300px and that the majority of screens will display the site with a good amount of white space either side.

My question is, does anyone ever choose to design websites with a container width of 1000px or 991px? And if so, what determines this? Is it decided based on content or any practical decisions or is it just preference?

The reason why I ask is because I see alot of sites with small container widths and In my own personal preference I think it makes the webpage easier to read.

It'd be good to hear what people have to say about this topic.

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Beyond the 960px grid back in the pre-responsive days, I have never heard of a "standard" container size since responsive web became a thing.

Modern "container limits" are now mostly preferred by popular frameworks such as bootstrap. Though that is not to say there is a golden rule to follow.

To be fair, it's not the size of your container that matters. It's how you use it.

The main rule of thumb is to keep your text under control, no matter the size of your container.

That is to say you should not exceed 50-60 chars per line.

This makes for an easier to read text with proper structure and you avoid lines that go on and on to the edge of the container (no matter the size). A good example of how to display text is Medium.

Beyond that, the web is full of experimental projects. I have seen websites that adjust to full width no matter the screen and websites that keep everything in a (relatively) tiny container.

Whatever the size. Just make sure it's responsive, usable, legible and easy to navigate and you can't go wrong.

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